Stay Safe While You Date: Sex Education

The public school system has stirred controversy over its sex education courses. Sex education revolves around the instruction of human sexuality, including human sexual anatomy, reproduction, intercourse, abstinence, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), birth control, and other means to protect oneself from the harmful effects of frivolous sexual activity. Along with formal school instructors, parents and caregivers should educate children and young adults about sexual relations. In addition, local, state, and federal officials can launch public health campaigns to deter young adults from engaging in unprotected sex. While sexual education has not manifested the desired effects on young adults, it has helped those few individuals say “no” when presented with peer pressure.

Abstinence

Abstinence involves the voluntary restraint from indulging in sexual activities. Religious proponents usually advocate the abstention of sexual intercourse, drugs and alcohol. Abstinence has diverse forms; however, the majority of people refer to receiving or giving sexual pleasure to themselves or a mate. Formal sexual education courses tend to agree that sexual abstinence is the only guarantee against sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Many of these programs stress that sexual abstinence is a lifestyle choice and not a temporary decision.

HIV/AIDS

The general population fears the human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV) and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In fact, HIV/AIDS affects the human immune system, with the initial phase of manifestation occurring with a brief period of influenza-like symptoms. People with HIV/AIDS may not even realize they have the disease until it fully manifests itself. As the illness progresses, people become more susceptible to infections that have a severe impact on the human body's ability fight it off. People primarily contract HIV through intercourse. Treatments exist for HIV/AIDS; however, most of these come at a high price and do not cure the disease but only suppress symptoms.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy occurs when two members of the opposite sex come together to produce offspring. As a male and female engage in sexual intercourse, the male's sperm travels through the vaginal canal to fertilize the woman's ovary inside of her uterus. The fertilization of the ovary leads to the development of an embryo or fetus. It is vitally important that everybody uses protection against unwanted pregnancy in the form of a contraceptive, such as birth control, condom, or diaphragm.


Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are illnesses that transfer from human-to-human via human sexual activities. Unprotected sex can result in the transmission of bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitical illnesses. Common bacterial sexually transmitted diseases are gonorrhea, syphilis, chancroid, and chlamydia. People can transmit viral sexually transmitted diseases to their intimate partners in the form of hepatitis, herpes simplex, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human papillomavirus (HPV), and molluscum contagiosum (MCV). Parasitic infection may involve crab louse (“crabs”) and scabies. There are many different sexually transmitted diseases and therefore it is of the utmost importance to always protect yourself.

Protect Yourself!


In the United States, approximately three million unwanted pregnancies occur every year as a result of not wearing protection, especially among young adults. In fact, nearly one million young women between the ages of 15 and 19 get pregnant every year. That figures out to be 1 out of every 9 teenagers. Additionally, 80% of these pregnancies are unplanned. Even if these young adults avoid getting pregnant, they stand a high chance of getting an STD if they fail to implement protection in the form of a condom, birth control medication, diaphragm, cervical cap, norplant, lunelle, female condom, or the depo-provera shot.

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